Eugene, Ore. -- The Oregon Ducks softball team is gearing up to take on the number one team in the nation, the UCLA Bruins.
Coming off a successful trip to Missouri, where the Ducks won three out of the four games they played in the Mizzou tournament, they hope to carry over the momentum to this series.
"It was a good confidence boost," said Haley Cruse. "It was kind of nice to get away from conference play and to play some different teams, and travel a little bit with our team. I think that was really good for our confidence going back into Pac-12 play."
Oregon is currently sitting in 7th place in the conference with an overall record of (16-19) and (1-8) in Pac-12 play.
Sophomore Pitcher, Jordan Dail turned that recent success into a Pac-12 pitcher of the week award, pitching three complete games on the trip. Her workload has been a topic of discussion all season, due to the lack of depth on the mound. She's made 28 appearances in the 35 games the Ducks have played this season.
"Whatever the team needs me to do, like that's what i'm going to do, Dail said. "Whether that's 20 innings a weekend, or two innings a weekend, that's fine with me. You know as long as i'm being successful and helping them win, that's all i care about."
Head coach, Melyssa Lombardi backed her decision in playing Dail by mentioning how hard she works on keeping her body in shape with the training staff and accepting the challenge to play as much as possible.
"She just, when i first met her the first thing that i knew instantly was she was a competitor and that she, where others may be shying away you know she wants to see what she can do," Lombardi said. "And there's a lot of athletes on this team that want to see what they can do. So this team, we have a lot of competitors, they have tremendous fight in them and i'm really looking forward to going to UCLA."
Oregon kicks off the series against the Bruins on Friday at 7 pm/PST. The first two games of the series are set to air on the Pac-12 network, while the final game will be on ESPN 2.
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